Duke Gets a Taste of Its Own Medicine

Posted by nvr1983 on March 1st, 2009

A lot of people have been talking about Duke‘s magical ability to get away with traveling. First we had, Elliott Williams who basically went from Durham to Chapel Hill without dribbling the ball and then we had Jon Scheyer try the same thing (scroll down) although to be fair he wasn’t as blatant as Williams.

The Blue Devils have also been known to use their elbows at times. This season there was Kyle Singler‘s elbow to Tyler Hansbrough‘s face. And of course nobody can forget the infamous Gerald Henderson elbow to Tyler Hansbrough’s face (notice a pattern) that led to the tour de force “This is why Duke sucks”.

Yesterday, Virginia Tech‘s Terrell Bell decided to take matters into his own hands and leveled Singler with an elbow that was much more malicious than the prior Duke elbows. At least the Duke guys tried to make it seem like it was during the “flow of the game”. Take a look at it below and let us know what you think. Just remember that there was no foul called on it.

Update: I am issuing this disclaimer because of the inability of some people to get past the title of this post and actually read what I said in the post. I am not condoning Bell’s actions. As I have said repeatedly in the comment section, I think it was a cheap shot. In fact, I called it malicious in the text of the original post, but apparently Duke fans don’t want to come to grasp with that and continued to focus on the title of this post. Like I said in the comment section if I was rewriting this post I would have titled it something like “Wait…So Duke doesn’t get all the calls?”, but I believe it would be dishonest at this point to change the title of the article as it is not factual incorrect just in questionable taste. Having said that, I still think the Duke fans need to get over themselves and cut out the moral superiority junk. Singler was not injured on the play. If he had even suffered a minor concussion or something that kept him out of the game much less suffered a career-ending injury the title of this post would have been something like “America’s Most Wanted: Terrell Bell”. And once again, getting elbowed is not the equivalent of contracting cancer or AIDS no matter what they are teaching you in Durham. If it was, Henderson and Singler would already be on trial. Durham does have a DA, right?

nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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39 responses to “Duke Gets a Taste of Its Own Medicine”

  1. Ryan says:

    That made my day.

  2. Josh says:

    Wow, Ryan, how classy.

    Seriously, how was nothing called for this.

  3. Mike says:

    To condone anything of this nature shows your true character as an individual.

  4. CP says:

    Not that you care, but you are about to lose a reader with all of this Duke hate. Headline-“Duke gets a taste of its own medecine.” You’re a clown. First, Henderson’s elbow was 3 years ago. And, it was a cheap shot and he was suspended. The next elbow was Singler against Hanstravel and was unintentional. Even if you believe it was intentional, this is a “pattern?” Twice in 3 years where one is arguably unintentional?

    The Youtube travel phenomenon is a load of crap. Did Williams travel? Yes. Did Scheyer? Probably, though he was probably fouled several times in the process. Even if they are both travels, it is ridiculous that these 2 calls get isolated and then blown out of proportion. Refs miss calls on both sides every game. When it happens in a Duke game, insecure Terp fans isolate the play and try to make a national incident about it.

    Also, let me get this straight-pretty much 99% of the country hates Duke, yet 100% of refs love them? That makes a lot of sense…

  5. nvr1983 says:

    (1) It’s sort of funny that you’re calling me out for being a Duke hater (there are two of us who handle the blog and I can’t remember writing another anti-Duke post), but whatever I’ll roll with that.
    (2) The headline was the first thing that came to mind. If Singler had been seriously hurt, I wouldn’t have been so light-hearted in posting the clip. Also, you might have gotten something more well thought out (not likely) or more classy (even less likely) if my West Coast colleague was up yet. It was something I decided to throw up while I was doing my BGTD post that will probably cross the 3,000 word threshold again.
    (3) “You’re a clown”. I don’t want to go all Bill Conlin here, but anybody who knows who I am would probably disagree with that comment, but you’re entitled to your opinion. For all I know you might be about to come out with some sort of AIDS vaccine so I won’t get into a senseless name-calling battle.
    (4) The pattern I was referring to was the person who was on the receiving end of both blows.
    (5) I was only kidding about the traveling calls. It’s sort of funny that they have become such a big deal on the Internet, but the Williams travel was ridiculous.

    Once you cool down a little I hope you’ll stay, but if you decide to find another college basketball site to visit instead, I hope you enjoyed your stay here at RTC.

  6. sadfsf says:

    get a life

  7. CP says:

    “The headline was the first thing that came to mind.” Not surprised.

    I am looking forward to tomorrow’s article on the Duke swoon as it relates to a four game winning streak in February.

  8. nvr1983 says:

    Nice e-mail address especially since it’s coming from a Duke dorm after all the whining coming from Durham about how crass the College Park kids are.

  9. Ross Weingarten says:

    This is ridiculous. Everyone hates Duke for no reason. We are so perfect, why does nobody like us? Neither of those travels were travels, and every elbow we throw in unintentional while every elbow that hits us is clearly full of intent.

    I hope you saw through that (terrible) sarcasm. I hate Duke, and the only thing that could have made that any better would be if Singler had gone the way of Nolan Smith.

  10. nvr1983 says:

    Now I won’t go as far as Ross did. I wouldn’t have posted this making light of it (I probably would have went the other way) if Singler had been seriously injured or even suffered a mild concussion.

    That said, I just looked back over the Singler elbow on Hansbrough and there is no way that was unintentional. Maybe it was a little more well-disguised than Henderson’s attempted decapitation of Hansbrough, but to call that unintentional is either being unbelievably naive or forgetting to take off your Duke glasses.

  11. Rob says:

    And you guys think Duke gets away with stuff. I hope you aren’t gloryfying it in any way.

  12. CP says:

    NVR, I think reasonable minds can differ on the Singler elbow. No argument on the Henderson flying elbow-it was certainly a cheap shot.

    I went to Duke, am a Duke fan, and definitely do NOT think that we are perfect. I said above that both of those plays were travels.

    And I don’t really care if we are liked by everyone. My big beef is with the whole argument that “Duke gets all the calls.” As I said above, despite the fact that 99% of the country hates or at least dislikes Duke, apparently 100% of the refs love Duke. The Youtube clips that are linked above just perpetuate this myth, and really, it’s sort of a lazy argument that is sure to get a lot of attention/page hits.

  13. nvr1983 says:

    I think the vast majority of fans (a non-Duke biased sample) would say it was intentional as Hansbrough didn’t even have his hand on the ball.

    As for using lazy arguments, it is fairly tough to write a thesis out of every single post (even though one of us managed to get an advanced degree writing about college basketball). I guess we could have done a statistical analysis comparing Duke getting called for travels and fouls, but there are so many confounding factors that even the best analysis would have more holes than simple video evidence that someone got elbowed in the face.

  14. WP says:

    What goes around comes around.

    I get sick to my stomach watching the way duke plays. NO OTHER TEAM IN THE COUNTRY TRIES TO BAIT CALLS LIKE DUKE. It’s just pathetic. Play the game the way it is suppose to be played. That is why sooo many people hate duke. They bait calls and get a majority of the whistles. That is what makes it seem like the refs are stuck up Kersheaidski’s butt. I’m sure everyone has seen the fainting goat/duke youtube videos.

    Anyone who respects the game has to be disgusted at the way duke plays.

  15. nvr1983 says:

    Out of curiosity since I didn’t see the game (was courtside covering the Notre Dame-UConn game), did Singler do anything before this to make Bell give him an elbow? I’m not saying it would be justified, but I’m just curious since there is no context to the video.

    I’m just wondering if there is something like in the 1992 East Regional final when Aminu Timberlake shoved Christian Laettner under the basket a few minutes before Laettner stomped on Timberlake’s chest.

  16. rtmsf says:

    I’d like to chime in that I’ve watched that Scheyer video a dozen times and I’m still confused as to how people think reaching for the ball is “mugging” him. The only possible “foul” that I see on that play is when the Va Tech players first approached Scheyer – it’s entirely possible there was a significantly advantageous bump there. Other than that, simply reaching at the ball softly w/o actually hacking or grabbing an arm isn’t a foul. That’s why the refs didn’t call it as such (they clearly missed or misinterpreted the initial bump).

    So walking down the primrose path here… the refs missed the initial bump, which should have been a foul. However, the various reach-ins afterwards hardly rose to a hack or a grab or anything really resembling a foul. Meanwhile, Scheyer was busy anticipating a foul and picking up his pivot foot several times in the process.

    Fair enough. Tit for tat there. And Va Tech probably wouldn’t have won the game anyway.

  17. sadfsf says:

    “Out of curiosity since I didn’t see the game (was courtside covering the Notre Dame-UConn game), did Singler do anything before this to make Bell give him an elbow? I’m not saying it would be justified, but I’m just curious since there is no context to the video.

    I’m just wondering if there is something like in the 1992 East Regional final when Aminu Timberlake shoved Christian Laettner under the basket a few minutes before Laettner stomped on Timberlake’s chest.”

    Right…..you’re basically doing your best to make the elbow look “justified.”

  18. Marc says:

    You know what’s interesting… both elbows on Hansbrough that you mentioned were assessed technical fouls, and Henderson was ejected and suspended 1 game for his. But that elbow, which was the most flagrant one of all was not called. So much for Duke getting all the calls.

  19. rtmsf says:

    I’ve known him for a long time, and to all the Duke fans here who are making accusations, NVR1983 is no Duke hater. Let’s just leave it at that.

  20. Heather says:

    You may not be a Duke-hater, but in defense of everyone “making accusations” this post definitely makes you sound like it.

    First, the title itself basically says that Kyle Singler deserved the elbow to the face.

    Then, you say that Duke has been getting away with travels (which I agree with… but so does pretty much every team in the NCAA at some point. Why does everyone make a HUGE fuss about it when it’s Duke?)

    Then, you bascially claim that Duke plays dirty by bringing up the elbows. Both of which I saw live and while they are legit, I don’t think they were done with the intent of actually hurting a player.

    And then to top it off you say: ‘At least the Duke guys tried to make it seem like it was during the “flow of the game”.’
    which, definitely makes it sound like you thought he was faking it to get attention and the whistle.

    So, I’m not accusing you of being a Duke-hater, but you have to admit this post made you sound like one, so don’t get upset with commenters if they think that.

  21. nvr1983 says:

    (1) Fair point on the title. Like I said I was trying to get the post up rather quickly since I was in the middle of covering all the basketball today (only got to about 2500 words on that because I was busy responding to all the Duke fans basically calling me the Anti-Christ over here). If I could re-title the post (and I still could, but I won’t because then even more people will call me out for it), I probably would have titled it something along the lines of “Wait. . .You mean that Duke doesn’t get every call?” We try to not show bias on this blog and the fact that everyone thinks I’m a Duke hater and well I won’t say who my favorite team was growing up, but look at rtmsf’s post and it doesn’t take an Ivy League degree to figure out what he’s saying.

    (2) The traveling is more of a reference to the YouTube phenomenon that CP referred to in the earlier comments.

    (3) I’m not sure how you can say swinging an elbow at someone is anything, but dirty. It may not be premeditated, but it definitely is dirty and is not a “basketball play”. The Bell elbow looked like it was premeditated based on the video, which didn’t give any context. I wasn’t trying to exonerate Bell for the elbow when I asked about whether anything had happened before. I was just trying to figure out what might have caused him to do it (for my own knowledge).

    (4) I have no idea how you read that sentence that way. I don’t want to go Fire Joe Morgan on you, but here’s the relevant passage:

    “Yesterday, Virginia Tech’s Terrell Bell decided to take matters into his own hands and leveled Singler with an elbow that was much more malicious than the prior Duke elbows. At least the Duke guys tried to make it seem like it was during the “flow of the game”.”

    Basically what that says is that Bell’s elbow didn’t even appear to occur during game action. I guess Hokie fans might argue that he was “trying to box out”, but I THINK THAT IS RIDICULOUS. I don’t like using caps, but I want to make it clear to my Southern readers that I would not agree with an argument that Bell was trying to box out. On the Duke elbows, which were still dirty, at least it seemed like Henderson and Singler were making an attempt to actually play basketball. What I’m saying is that Bell’s elbow was worse than what either of the Duke guys did even if Henderson’s resulted in much more physical damage. Sorry for repeating the same thing, but I wanted to get that point through to some people here.

  22. Mike says:

    For those of you who think Singler deserved it. If it happened to you or someone you know, would they still deserve it? That’s like my wife’s boss saying they need an AIDS or cancer patient to boost sales so long as it isn’t someone they know. That is incredibly low class.

  23. nvr1983 says:

    For those of you who are asking why your comments haven’t been posted the reason is pretty simple. We are getting a ton of comments that I have to approve before they go up. There have been about 5-6 comments that just say something along the lines of “You suck” or “I’ve never reading your blog again”, which all come from people who have never been to the site. I don’t feel that they add anything to the post, which makes them like spam in my eyes.

    I probably should have deleted the original post by “sadfsf”, but we didn’t have that many comments at the time so I didn’t think it would derail the “discussion”.

    As for the comment from Mike comparing getting elbowed, but not injured to AIDS or cancer. . .Really? I’m pretty sure that’s much more ridiculous than anything I have ever said even if you are wearing your Duke-colored glasses.

  24. preston says:

    Jealousy is alive and well here. Keep wishing your program’s success, or lack thereof, is as great as Duke’s.

    Duke gets all the calls…yes, yes. Any other excuses you want to layout that we haven’t all heard before, guys? :)

  25. janno says:


    I mean seriously? The way you wrote the blog, the way you defend your written work, the way you’re clearly answering to these posts by readers and probably to the way you’ll reply to mine… it’s like you’re glorifying that Singler needed to get elbowed. For Henderson and Singler elbowing Tyler, I admit i went “ohhhhh ohhhhhh that was on purpose…” But atleast in Duke’s defense that was more a ‘flow of the game” type of plays. Atleast Henderson wasn’t looking, and neither was Singler eventhough they know Tyler was there. Now the way Singler was fouled, there was no “flow” the guy looked at him and threw his elbow.

    I bet you’re going to reply that you are not glorifying the elbow, if not then change the title?

    And this is coming from a semi-duke hater. I personally hate both UNC and DUKE since im a state fan. Last thing I would do is to try to defend these 2 programs, but with the way you wrote this blog, I just had to chime in.

  26. noyd says:

    You Duke haters are pitiful. Get a life. Your celebrating an unprovoked elbow to the neck of 19 year old boy? And you see this as morally OK? Pitiful.

  27. Heather says:

    Thanks for all of the clarifications. I undertsand where you were coming from now…

    and just for clarifaction on my end on (3), I think there is a difference between swinging an elbow at someone, on purpose, which I would call dirty play, and accidentally hitting a player with an elbow, which I wouldn’t consider dirty. For instance from my perspective the elbow to Hansborough by Singler, looked to me like his hand slipped from the ball and his elbow hit Tyler, that I wouldn’t consider dirty. But if he did actually swing his elbow at him on purpose, which he may have, then yes, it’s dirty.

    Does that make more sense?

    And I apologize if my comment made it seem like I was attacking you or anything. I think I was just a little irritated at seeing another post about the Scheyer travel – it’s already seen way too much air time as it is.

  28. nvr1983 says:

    As a general note to everyone who thinks that RTC is just drivel written a bunch of punks, take a look around the site before you reach any conclusions. I’m pretty sure you will find that we are one of the better general college basketball blogs out there. You can disagree with the content or tone of this post, but before you rip us saying that we are a bunch of hacks check out the rest of the site.

    I’m not sure if you have actually been reading any of my comments on here. I’ll admit that the post was questionable, but I don’t think that posting the video of this is like making fun of someone who was diagnosed with cancer or AIDS. In addition, I think I have done a decent job addressing many of the thing you wrote about in my response to Heather. Judging from her response I think my reply in the comment section to those issues was at least adequate. As an aside, your writing makes absolutely no sense. In one paragraph/sentence (I can’t tell because you basically killed grammar with your post), you manage to criticize me for saying Singler needed to get hit (you’re inferring a lot here) and that the Duke elbows were in the “flow of the game” (exactly what I said, but you’re trying to argue against me by using the argument that I used without actually analyzing what I said). I already said my reason for not changing the title. I am pretty sure that if I did I would get even more criticism for being a “pansy” or some other derogatory term.

    Creative e-mail address. I addressed these issues already. Like I said, if Singler had suffered even a moderate injury I wouldn’t have posted this. Actually I might have, but it would have been something totally destroying Bell for his actions. I still think Bell deserves some punishment (something that I didn’t get across in the post), but it’s not like he was paralyzed (a la Travis Roy) or was stricken with cancer or AIDS (tip of the ridiculous hat to Mike).

    No worries. Your post was probably the friendliest thing I have read on here all day. . .Thanks for your comment. I have no problem having a discussion with someone who is actually willing to be rational. It’s sort of a pain talking to a fanatic, which most people are who root this passionately for a college team. As for the dirtiness of the play, I think all 3 were intentional. I think the Singler elbow to Hansbrough was, but on the cheap shot scale it’s well below this. If I had to put them on a cheap shot scale, it would look something like this: Bell > Henderson >> Singler.

  29. Heather says:

    Haha, thanks.

    I watched the Singler-Hansborough elbow again and you’re probably right about the elbow being intentional. Not to say I was looking at it through Duke-colored glasses, but I WAS probably looking at it through Anti-Hansborough-colored glasses. During the game, the only thing I saw was Hansborough being a bit of a punk and having a delayed reaction and then cradling his face… But thanks for making me look again.

  30. Joe Average says:

    Why don’t you Duke haters just find a team that is better than Duke to like and you would not be so obsessed with the dubious and ridiculous idea that the refs somehow favor Duke with their calls. There have been plenty of teams that have been better than Duke the past 4-5 years. Just pick one (not Maryland, however) and quit whining. And if your retort is that you are not saying that the reason Duke wins is the refs, then what’s the point of obsessing about it?

  31. Capt_Clyde says:

    It really depresses me with the level of ignorance many of the posters have shown. This is a game (not real life and death stuff) and the fact that anybody could or would wish harm on anybody else, let alone a young college student that they do not know who happens to play basketball is beyond me. I sure do hope the posters that are so vehemently against or for any of these teams, players or plays have at least a small thing in their lives that actually may be more important than these reactions to plays in a game.

  32. Zach says:

    Terrell Bell for President? Anyone?

  33. truth_sayer says:

    There IS a double standard in the way Duke games are officiated, stemming from a bad call in the Duke / FSU game in 2006 (where a double technical was called that should have just been one T on Shelden Williams). The referees were reprimanded iafter thet game, the first time in conference history.

    Thus, officiating HAS changed in Duke games — fouls afre begrudgingly called on opponents, and Duke’s guards are handcuffed at midcourt with ticky tack calls. At Maryland Wednesday night, Singler was dragged to the floor the first play of the game 5 feet in front of ACC official Mike Wood — no call. At least he called the ball out of bounds to Duke.

    Yesterday, Gerald Henderson was T’d up for LOOKING at somebody. However, the person at whom he stared (Vassalo) was NOT T’ed up for bowling over a Duke player — and THEN staring him down. DOUBLE STANDARD.

    In EVERY OTHER ACC GAME this year, if a player was obviously hurt by a flagrant action, video was reviewed. They even reviewed the T on Singler during UNC game to see if they thought he intended to elbow Hansbrough. At that point in the game, video should have been reviewed, Bell should have been ejected, and Duke should have shot free throws. The next play, Scheyer was clocked with no call, that resulted in another break for VT. These are not one, but 2 four point swings in the same game by refs ignoring obvious — and flagrant — contact to a Duke player’s HEAD.


  34. rtmsf says:

    LOL. Nifong references are funny.

  35. Little Mime says:

    Personally, I thought this was a great post. I’ve noticed lately that Duke basketball fans should probably be lumped in with Ohio State fans. Ignorant. Even worse, I am one of them. We tend follow blindly and assume everything K does right and just. The truth of the matter is that it’s the fault ESPN and ACC ref’s. We don’t know what it’s like to not get the call. To go back to the pick set on Nolan Smith during the Maryland game, at full speed it looked good. I have no problem with not getting that call. What still makes me crazy a week later is that Bilas and Patrick repeatedly offered up what a great pick it was. Despite the fact that the guys upper body and both forearms are clearly leaning into it. With the above elbow, I only have two words. Bull Shit! I know they were different games, but if Singler gets a technical for the elbow against Carolina’s great white hype, then that has to be a technical and an ejection. The truely shitty part of the elbow on Singler, officials didn’t even go back and look at it. Way to make use of the replay. Stay classy BC. Enjoy the NIT.

  36. DecaturHeel says:

    Man, it is freaking HILARIOUS to see Duke fans complaining about not getting calls…how about the non-calls on Scheyer’s multiple-walk possession? That sort of whistle-swallowing is what causes everyone to believe that K has the officials in his back pocket, and why they always flame out in the national tournament when they have different officials working. And why Duke sucks, now and forever.

  37. Bart says:

    A few comments from a visitor (i.e., I might not be back to defend myself!). I’m not an expert on rules, so may mangle some of this….

    Call me Duke-biased (I am) but I still think Gerald H got worse than he deserved for his elbow to Hansbrough’s nose. (And, BTW, unlike most Duke fans, I actually _admire_ Hansbrough). IIRC, Tyler went up for a shot, Gerald came in to block it aggressively, someone _else_ blocked the ball, Gerald pulled back and, in so doing, had his elbow stuck out and it caught nose. It seemed that the ref called it a flagrant foul based on Gerald’s body laguage (“We’re losing, I’m pissed, I’m going to smear that guy”) and _not_ because of the broken nose per se. So the call was deserved but the opprobrium is not. I think even Hansbrough conceded as much.

    Singler’s elbow to Hansbrough: his hand ‘slipped’ off the ball and he followed through: Hansbrough’s face happened to be in the vicinity. To me it did look intentional but it was subtle enough to leave some doubt; only Singler can know. My understanding is that it was called a technical foul, _not_ because it was clearly intentional but because it was a dead ball foul and, as such, had to be called a technical. Q: if it were flagrant, wouldn’t Singler have been ejected?

    The pick on Nolan was legal if aggressive. I think it was meant to put some hurt on, but–I hope–not to cause a concussion. My wife works with brain-injured patients–no, I’m not one of them, ha-ha–and a concussion is NOT funny. Please have some perspective, folks. Do you think a player paralyzed from a broken neck is funny? Muhammed Ali with Parkinson’s? As Woody Allen said, “My brain? That’s my second favorite organ!”

    Likewise an elbow to the neck: NOT funny. real potential for serious harm. To be honest, I thought it was an accident but haven’t reviewed the video. If it was that obviously intentional, it deserved a call.

    Full disclosure: my son is a 4th generation Dukie. GTHC

  38. Dukee says:

    ok… people hate on duke because…. there good …sooo this guy is a no life for this shot def. intentional.. hendersons wasnt even as close to as bad as this.. y is that b.c his wasnt intentional… and on scheyers walk… too big guys slapping away at his arms so no call there therefore no travel

  39. Fighting is Funny says:

    Obviously a biased entry from a Georgetown fan but this blog took a look at the types of fouls called in the G’town – Duke game in January. Outcome: Georgetown’s fouls on Duke led to very few foul shots, Duke’s fouls on G’town led to a lot of foul shots, meaning Duke drew more offensive fouls and off the ball infractions.


    Don’t know if I agree with the analysis but it is food for thought.

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

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